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Lectures, Talks, or Workshops for Genealogy or Family History Groups


  • Sources - Information – Evidence.  “Sources” discusses types of information and records genealogists search for, places they can find sources and records, and how sources and records help them learn more about their ancestors.

  • Introduction to Vital Records.  “Vital Records” are essential to establishing the identity of your ancestor.  These records establish three important dates and locations in your ancestor’s life.  Vital Records may also provide clues about other family members.

  • U.S. Census and Its Importance to Genealogical Research.  United States census records are available every decade starting in 1790s.  We will discuss how Federal census records can support learning about your ancestors and track where they lived.

  • Cite Your Genealogy Sources the Easy Way.  “Citing Genealogical Records” is a step that cannot be missed in any genealogist’s work.  The most important thing to note in citing your work is that you and others can duplicate the steps you took to find records.

  • Using Research Plans and Logs . You would not plan a vacation without planning where you are going.  So, you need to keep a research log to know where to research, what to collect, and where you have already looked for.

  • Become an Organized Genealogist.  We all have different ways of keeping our genealogy files.  In this session, we will explore several of the common prescribed (digital and paper) methods to organize your genealogy.

  • Everyday Genealogical Mistakes.  Often genealogists get into habits that lead them to make errors and lapses in their research.  This session will address the common mistakes made by inexperienced and experienced genealogists.


  • Immigration to the Colonies and the U.S.  Unless your ancestors are Native Americans, we all have ancestors that came from other continents.In this session, we will examine how to search for records that provide immigration information.

  • Understanding Naturalization from the 13 Colonies to 2001.  After a set number of years, an immigrant could apply to become a citizen of the United States.  In this session, we will discuss the records a genealogist can find to document their immigrant ancestor’s steps to become a citizen.

  • Transportation and Its Contribution to the Growth of the U.S.  From the settlement of the Colonies to interstate highways, we will review how the development of transportation systems contributed to the growth of the continental United States.

  • Migration Within the United States.  Depending on the time, some of our ancestors stayed along the coast and others moved south along the Appalachian Mountains.  After the Revolutionary War, Americans began moving westward.  In this session, we will examine the trails used to find new land.


  • Using the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  NARA provides the genealogist with a multitude of records and information papers about the records.  Unfortunately, all the records we seek do not reside in a single archive.  Knowing which archive to search or visit is important for the genealogist to understand.  This talk requires 90 minutes.

  • Non-Population Census, Adding More Depth to Your Family Records.  All genealogists should use the population census to build their family trees.  But there are eight non-population census records that should be considered.  The non-population census may help answer questions looming in your research.  We will review each of these seldom used records.

  • Historical Maps and Their Use in Genealogy.  Who doesn’t like to look at a map?  Adding maps from your ancestor’s timeline puts you in their time and space.  You may find the names of their neighbors, as well as the schools, churches, and blacksmiths in their commuting area.

  • Church Records for the Major Christian Denominations.  Long before states mandated the recording of vital records, churches were recording births and/or baptisms, marriages, and deaths and/or burials.  Knowing our ancestors’ religion provides insight into their lives.  This talk will discuss tips to help the genealogist find their ancestor’s religion so they can pursue records.  We will cover the Colonial Era to the early 1900.

  • Using Court Records in Genealogy.  Nearly all ancestors left some kind of court record.  They may be named in a probate record, written a Will, purchased land, been named in a lawsuit, filed for divorce, or even been convicted of a crime.  Even if we think the files have been digitized and placed online, we may find many of the pages are missed and still in the courthouse.  See what you may miss if you are not searching for court records.

  • Using Historical Newspapers to Know More About Your Ancestors.  Historical newspapers did not always bring us the bad news of the day.  You can find stories that help fill in the social lives of your ancestors.  Perhaps you will find one of your grandmothers was famous for holding social events, a grandfather raised blue ribbon horses, or a drunk uncle and his friend were killed by a train during a blizzard.  There are many stories in free newspapers and those with paid subscriptions.

  • Military Records for Genealogical Research.  In its nearly 250 years of existence, the United States has been involved in conflict and war for more years than it has spent at peace.  This means you probably have ancestors that served in the military. This presentation will describe a method to identify potential ancestors who served in the military, examine the military records available, and review locations where genealogists can find military records.  This talk requires 90 minutes.


  • Geography - Why it Matters to Family History. Geography is the study of spatial relationships. Depending on the place and times our ancestors lived, geography had a tremendous impact on their lives. Geography influenced your ancestors' pool of friends and potential mates, access to medical care, food, and water sources., closeness of neighbors, their safety, and perception of the world.

  • History - Why it Matters to Family History. To our ancestors, it wasn't history; it was day-to-day living.  But to us, we can study our ancestors in what humans have accomplished n the past. We will use examples to study the times before and at the time of our ancestors to see how it may have affected their lives. (March 2024)

  • Religion - Why it Matters to Family History. Religion is the belief in a god or gods and the activities connected with this belief.  Our ancestors may have worshipped in different ways than we do now. Discrimination in their home countries may be the reason they emigrated to the colonies/United States.  They may have lived in small enclaves with other of their religion, lived in urban areas with mixed communities, or lived on the frontier, where their chosen religion did not have a place to worship.  (June 2024)

Talks for Non-Genealogy Groups

  • Being Remembered As You Want To Be… leaving your own legacy

  • Why Genealogy May Be The Perfect Hobby For You

  • You Ought To Write That Down

  • Should you take a DNA Test?  Which One?

  • What is DNA and Ethnicity All About?

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